Multinational food-products giant, Danone, have announced a series of initiatives to make its packaging 100% circular and to accelerate towards this being a standard for the industry. This includes initiatives to improve product design and develop alternative delivery and reuse models, investments to develop effective, efficient and inclusive systems for increased collection and recycling, to boost recycling and actions to preserve natural resources by reintegrating recycled materials into our packaging and developing use of renewable materials.
Emmanuel Faber, Chairman and CEO of Danone said: “We believe the time is now to step up and accelerate, embrace our responsibility and work with others to engage a radical shift that will help free the world from packaging waste. We will be acting both at global and local level to ensure circularity of packaging becomes the new norm. Today, we are announcing a series of investments and commitments that – I believe – will have a concrete impact. These will be amplified as we collaborate with industry-peers, governments, NGOs, start-ups and the finance sector; harness new technologies and invest in new solutions.”
Danone will accelerate transition towards circular economy of packaging in three ways:
1. Packaging designed for circularity.
Danone ( @Danone)commits to ensure that all its packaging is designed to be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Moreover, the company will develop alternative delivery models or new reuse models where relevant, and take action to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging.
Already 86% of our packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable, and 50% of our water volumes are sold in reusable jugs. Their evian bottles are already 100% recyclable, and Danone have also piloted an innovation to eliminate non-recyclable shrink film for multi-packs using specially designed adhesive and tape handles. Along with many other brands, they are also assessing alternatives to plastic straws through a pilot program to be launched in 2019, with their AQUA brand in Indonesia.
2. Reused, recycled and composted in practice.
Danone recognizes that design won’t be enough to make its packaging fully circular. Effective collection and recycling systems are essential to ensuring packaging is recycled, reused or composted in practice.
To help meet, or go beyond, the collection targets set by regulators, such as the minimum 90% collection target for beverage bottles expected to be set in the EU for 2025, Danone will support the most effective publicly organized collection and recycling systems, including Extended Producer Responsibility and Deposit Return Scheme systems, when relevant.
They will also invest in private initiatives that strengthen circular infrastructure, especially in countries where formal systems are absent or in development, or where there is a high risk of leakage into the environment. By 2025, Danone are aiming to have initiated or supported collection and recycling initiatives in every one of our top 20 markets (representing around 90% of sales).
3. Preservation of natural resources.
Danone use 14% of recycled PET on average in their water and other beverage bottles; by 2025, we will increase this amount to 50%. The evian brand already contains 30% recycled plastic (rPET) on average, and intends to reach 100% by 2025. Their first 100% recycled PET bottle with the Lanjaron Red natural mineral water brand in Spain and additional 100% recycled PET bottles, reaching all major water markets by 2021.
In addition to these three tenets, Danone are pushing the message that collaboration is the cornerstone of success when it comes to circular economy, as we detailed in September. They have joined a global commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment Program, other businesses, NGOs and governments, to address plastic waste and pollution.
Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation ( @circulareconomy), declared: “By looking at the whole system, from product design to developing new reuse models and collaborating with others, these commitments set Danone up to take important steps towards circularity.Commitments like those announced today can help drive the global momentum needed to create a circular economy for plastics that stops them from becoming waste and pollution. Now is the time to make it happen.”
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